From Publisher's Blurb:
Flute music punctuated by the shrill notes of a piccolo drifts down the street from a small - but apparently popular - watering hole. The simple clay building has only a few small windows on its exteriors, while the entire front end is open to the street, covered by an overhang of musty, stretched hides. Lingering in its cool shade can be seen several dozen local inhabitants of town, lazily enjoying mugs of malt beer or some other fermented drink and watching passersby. Their attention is torn away as an excited clamor erupts from within, accompanied by angry shouts, loud voices... and uproarious laughter.
There's a small place in town where locals enjoy coming together to bet on a strange game, a local favorite, that combines quick gameplay and simple counting skills, a game accessible to even the simplest of herders and laborers. A quiet, dark-skinned man named "Anq" runs the place, a working man's pub where men can enjoy a drink, rest in the shade after a hard day's work, and enjoy the serenity of an engaging game while in the company of friends.
It's not much to look at, but the place known simply as the Manqala Den continues to be a favorite hangout of people in the working-class neighborhood near the edge of the settlement. From early morning to late at night, natives congregate there to watch matches unfold in front of their eyes, chide players for bad moves and mistakes, and watch with wide eyes as corium repeatedly changes hands in one of the most popular gambling joints in town.